Teens begin getting vaccine


Updated 9 pm

Bailen Darack is the first teen on Martha’s Vineyard to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on the first day teens 12 to 15 were eligible to get the Pfizer vaccine, according to her father Adam Darack.

In a brief email to The Times that included a photo of his daughter, Darack said, “They just said Bailen’s the first, here’s a pic!”

Meanwhile, Ariana Leoncio told The Times her daughter, Maria, 13, was the first Brazilian junior to get the vaccine Thursday. 

“My daughter has pretty bad asthma. Since the pandemic started she’s been doing online classes and is still doing them,” Ariana Leoncio said. “We’re doing everything we can so she can stay safe. She doesn’t go to school. She hasn’t had any play dates. We’ve been waiting a long time for this day.”

Ariana Lecino said Thursday was a good day. “She was very excited when I told her she was going to get her vaccine.” She and her husband, Hugo, are now hopeful the vaccine will eventually be deemed safe for their other child, Pedro, who is still a baby.

Bill and Sharon Engler said their daughter, Lucy, was the first 12 year old. “Lucy is severely disabled and was brave and fierce,” they wrote in a text message.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Wednesday that teens 12 to 15 who had pre-registered for an appointment would be eligible to begin receiving the vaccine after the Centers for Disease Control gave the green light for the Pfizer vaccine to be given to younger Americans, the State House News Service reported.

According to the News Service, the Baker administration’s COVID-19 Command Center said newly eligible young people will be able to book an appointment at any of the 900 vaccination locations that have Pfizer doses. The administration has also begun reaching out to primary care and pediatric providers to encourage them to order and administer Pfizer vaccines to eligible patients through their practices, the report states.

The Pfizer vaccine was previously being distributed to anyone 16 or older, while the Moderna vaccine has only been approved for use in individuals at least 18 years old.

A CDC advisory panel on Wednesday endorsed the use of the Pfizer vaccine in younger populations as both safe and effective, and its recommendation was accepted by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, according to State House News.

In a press release Thursday afternoon, the hospital reported they have made vaccine appointments available.

“Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is now offering COVID-19 vaccines to individuals 12 to 15 years old,” the release states. “Today, May 13th is the first day that this age group is eligible to receive the vaccine at MVH.”

Parents or guardians can schedule appointments online at mvhospital.org, the release states, and only Pfizer vaccine appointments will be available for individuals who select “I am a patient who is 16-17 years old or a parent/guardian of a 12–17-year-old patient,” according to the release.

Over the next week, appointments for 12-17-year-olds will be available Saturday, May 15, Thursday, May 20, Saturday, May. “We currently have many available appointments to accommodate the 12 to 17-year-old age group,” the release states.

Updated to include information from the hospital.